Nearly a month after officially being offered the right-of-first-refusal tender by the Pittsburgh Steelers, veteran inside linebacker Robert Spillane officially signed his restricted free agency tender Friday, the team announced.
The right-of-first-refusal tender puts Spillane’s 2022 base salary at $2.433 million, which does not come with any guaranteed money. It is the lowest tender the team could’ve placed on him.
Spillane once again made the Steelers’ roster in 2021 as a backup behind starting inside linebackers Devin Bush and Joe Schobert. He went on to play 346 total defensive snaps in the regular season in addition to 244 more on special teams. He registered 45 total tackles on defense in 2021 and 11 more on special teams. Two of those tackles resulted in losses.
Spillane joined the Steelers in the 2019 offseason after being cut by the Tennessee Titans. Spillane didn’t make the 53-man roster that year, but was signed to the practice squad before being activated midway through the 2019 season.
Since then, Spillane has been an integral part of the Steelers’ inside linebackers room as a key depth piece and a solid special-teamer under special teams coordinator Danny Smith. Sound as a run defender but a real liability in coverage, where he was exposed in the last two seasons while seeing defensive snaps.
For now, Spillane profiles as the No. 3 inside linebacker behind Devin Bush and free agent signee Myles Jack. He will be joined by Marcus Allen, Buddy Johnson, and Ulysees Gilbert III on the depth chart for the time being.